Police, civic body will decide if restaurants serving alcohol can stay open 24x7 in Mumbai | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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Police, civic body will decide if restaurants serving alcohol can stay open 24x7 in Mumbai

State labour minister has said that the home department will have the power to issue a no-objection certificate

mumbai Updated: Dec 21, 2017 10:27 IST
Swapnil Rawal
Yuva Sena chief Aditya Thackeray, who has been rooting for the proposal for the past four years, welcomed the state government’s decision
Yuva Sena chief Aditya Thackeray, who has been rooting for the proposal for the past four years, welcomed the state government’s decision(HT File)

Dream of partying the night away? A nod from the police and civic body could make that a reality.

In its notification, the government has permitted shops and establishments to remain open 24x7, but asked liquor shops to shut at 11.30 pm and discotheques by 1.30 am.

A day after the decision was announced in the state Assembly, state labour minister Sambhaji Patil Nilangekar said he left it up to the home department and BMC to decide whether restaurants serving alcohol should be allowed to operate 24x7 as part of the state’s ‘nightlife zones plan’.

“We did not include establishments that serve alcohol as this could cause issues. We wanted to maintain decorum. However, we have given the home department the power to issue a no objection certificate,” Nilangekar told HT.

In September, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis instructed authorities to set up zones where eateries, pubs, bars and entertainment hotspots could stay open throughout the night.

The initial plan was to designate non-residential areas, such as Veer Nariman Road, Ballard Pier and Horniman Circle in south Mumbai, ‘nightlife zones’. Based on the response, similar zones could be replicated in other parts of the city.

Adarsh Shetty, president of AHAR, an Indian Hotel and Restaurant Association, said the notification could lead to more reforms.

“We welcome the notification permitting shops to run 24x7. Establishments serving alcohol can always seek permission to stay open longer on special occasions such Christmas and New Year’s Eve. A few years down the line, we can request that pubs and bars be allowed to operate 24x7,” he said.

Viren Shah, president, Federation of Retail Traders Welfare Association, said tourism would be hampered if pubs and bars were not allowed to operate late into the night.

Yuva Sena chief Aditya Thackeray, who has been rooting for the proposal for the past four years, welcomed the state government’s decision. “I am happy that people in the government — who had criticised me and called me immoral and uncultured for the plan I had proposed — have now accepted its siginificance for revenue, employment and tourism, which is exactly what I had intended,” Thackeray told HT.

He said he had never proposed that bars and pubs be allowed to stay open round the clock. “My nightlife plan never included pubs and bars. It only dealt with shops and restaurants in non-residential areas,” he said.